NUI Galway’s Student Union have issued a series of tips to students seeking accommodation for the new academic year in the wake of a series of accommodation scams.
These tips have been released following a surge of reported accommodation scams across the country. According to an article from TheJournal.ie, at least 60 scams have been reported to An Garda Síochána since the beginning of June.
The main tip that the Students’ Union have advised is to ensure that the property fits the needs of all tenants and to look out for and avoid such rental scams.
Such scams include the scammer living at the property and showing the viewers around before taking a deposit of money and fleeing with the cash, leaving the renter without a landlord and keys that don’t work.
Other tips include taking pictures of the property to highlight any damages such as carpet stains and cigarette burns, avoiding cash payments for deposits, ensuring the house is well ventilated and that kitchen and heating appliances are working properly and that the broadband speeds in the area are enough to carry out online learning.
“Finding accommodation can be extremely stressful and people tend to rush into it,” states NUI Galway Student’s Union President Róisín Nic Lochlainn.
“It is paramount that you follow these guidelines to avoid scams and ensure that the house you live in will be sustainable for you and your friends. Never rush into getting accommodation, be cautious and insist on receipts and any repairs where necessary. This will be where you stay for at least nine months so make sure you have all the necessities before making any commitments.”
Cora Clarke, NUI Galway Vice-President and Welfare and Equality Officer also added that the importance of being cautious and aware when renting student accommodation is critical. “Being aware of rental scams and the signs of them can prevent losing money and make a student’s life easier,” stated Clarke.
Clarke also called for students to take on personal responsibility in following Covid-19 restrictions as students partially return to campus for the new academic year. “With restrictions easing, it is vital we remain determined to not only take care of ourselves but the community around us as well.
“With this newfound freedom that the easing of restrictions is allowing students across the country, it is also important that we highlight personal responsibility not only in relation to the pandemic but also to make sure we are eating properly, exercising, drinking enough water, and getting enough rest,” added Clarke. “After a year and a half of lockdowns it can be tempting to stretch yourself thin to socialize as much as possible. It is important to remember to take care of yourself in all aspects!”
A recommended website by the Student’s Union for booking accommodation is www.nuiglaunchpad.ie.